April 22, 2020

Field Trip Sessions

What is a Field Trip Session?

It’s pretty much just what the name implies.  You and I and your family head out and do something fun together.  I take pictures all the while that tell the story of the day.

When should we think about a Field Trip Session as an alternative to an in-home session?

In the past, I’ve thought of Field Trip Sessions as a nice change of scenery for when we’ve done a bunch of consecutive in-home sessions.  Or when there’s a particular flavor of “field trip” that’s a big part of your life as a family right now and that you want to remember.

But, hey, I’ve been thinking …

I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking, actually, about what the early re-emergence of Jaye McLaughlin Photography is going to look like post-pandemic. First, when??? (????) Then, of course, how.  I know we’ll get back to exactly where we were eventually, but I’m thinking there might be some baby steps required to get there. I’m starting to think we’ll be having some conversations about Field Trip Sessions in the coming months.


I thought I’d get some thoughts on “paper” that I typically ramble on about over the phone with my families when we reach this part of the session planning stage.  Because you see, a Field Trip Session is NOT the same thing as just picking a pretty park and meeting up – did you know that?

The key to a successful Field Trip Session, I think, is that it should be something fun and different – an event in itself.  Not just a different location where I’m saying, “now stand there,” “now stand over there,” etc – bossing everyone around and stopping them from having fun and exploring. News flash – that’s not really fun for anybody. It’s a bit more documentary – I’m catching you in the act of doing something actually fun together as a family.

Some examples — an actual putting practice with a ride in golf carts and ice cream afterwards (as opposed to posing on the pretty bridge at the golf course).  Exploring a new neighborhood and trying out a cool playground or pastry shop (as opposed to posing on the streets of NY).  A bike or scooter ride to a cool picnic spot, followed by a picnic and a game of duck-duck-goose.  It doesn’t even have to be “on location”, really – a backyard fire pit with roasted marshmallows or s’mores — and oooooh! a tent, maybe! — would be an awesome Field Trip Session, in my book.

I’ll still smush you all together occasionally just like I do at home, but there’s got to be something in it for everybody or it ends up being boring drudgery for all.  See what I mean?

Well.  We’ll put our heads together when it’s time to plan the particulars of your session, but in the meantime, here are some examples.  (A picture is worth a thousand words, they say.  Almost 10 years as a photographer and I still am always giving you so many words).

Field Trip Sessions

(Once you take a peek at this sampling, you can check out some blog posts I did of full Field Trip Sessions, which really tell the story better.  There was that time this family and I were the first people on the High Line. Oh, and that morning I spent on the campus of Columbia University (dad’s alma mater) when a formerly local client came visiting from their new home in Korea. And that time when we moved a newborn session to the hotel where her family was staying during a crazy heat wave because the house was under construction and the air conditioning bit the dust (that was an adventure!)  And that evening when we played on the beach for a bit before taking a ride on the family’s boat. You get the idea, right?))

Thanks for looking,



Jaye McLaughlin Photography specializes in documentary style lifestyle family and newborn photography in Westchester County, NYC, Connecticut and beyond.  I would love to begin planning your family photo session. View more of my work in my family portfolio HERE.  Check out some brand new sweetness in my newborn portfolio HERE. If you’re interested in a family, newborn or maternity session and would like to learn more, click HERE.  To get in touch, just go HERE, or email me or call me directly at jaye@jayemclaughlin.com or 914.263.0236.  I look forward to hearing from you!